Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Interesting "Q" & A....

Sometimes at work I will have the radio playing.
Usually on CBC.
I like to hear the news segments, etc... it's always good to know if [for instance] a local Ontario earthquake just took place, or if the tremor I just felt was [as usual].... just gas!
Anyhoo -- today I happened to be near the radio just as the radio program "Q" was on -- with host Jian Ghomeshi. He was interviewing Nate Phelps, who is the son of the senior pastor of Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas.
For those of you who do not know much about this legalistic posse of believers -- suffice it to say that this particular church is an extremely fundamentalist Christian outfit.
They're what you might call EXTREMIST-Christians.
At one point in the interview, Jian asks Phelps about how he came to a place of renouncing the narrow-minded fundamentalist views of his family.
Phelps described how the apostasy of his brother was a sort of catalyst for his own defection. But then he related a fascinating little story, involving his 7-year old son.
Ingenious lad that I am, I have extracted this one segment of the podcast here with my own camera.... it's well worth a thoughtful listen!
To me, this is as good a reason as any, to not only give a second thought as to what it is we ourselves believe -- but secondly, to reconsider how we may be negatively indoctrinating otherwise-normal children when we say crazy, nutty things to them.


Stefanie said...

That was really interesting. Thanks for sharing it!

Isabella said...

I may have to search out this entire interview now...

From this clip, it doesn't sound like he said anything particularly nutty. But yes, it's tough to talk to kids about this stuff! I'm an atheist (still "spiritual" and open-minded) and I like to think of myself as a pretty reasonable person. Apart from that, I'm not very keen on how organized religion operates. So... I dunno, it's TOUGH! Personally, I hope H believes what I believe; reasonably, I hope she becomes informed enough to make her own choices; as a parent, it's my duty to guide her, and be sensitive to her disposition -- knowing what's too much information, what would freak her out, etc, and how to frame things suitably to her conitive/emotional level. I'm not sure what point I'm trying to make, just that it's HARD.

So in this guy's case, he told his son this is what's written and explained what it meant, which is fine. Were I going through this with my daughter, I'd follow up with: "just because it's written, doesn't mean it's true. Some people believe that; other people take it to mean something a little bit different, and here's what I make of it, but what do you think about all that?" So, yeah, with kids, you have to watch/censor what you say -- it's not a question of not saying things so much as knowing that maybe more things need to be said after that.

And sometimes you screw up and say the wrong thing, or watch the wrong movie, and then you have to figure out how to fix it, re-balance it.

Currently the kid believes when you die you become an angel -- I don't know where she got that from, and I'm not sure how I feel about it yet, but in the meantime at least it's not keeping either of us up at night.

Cipriano said...

Glad you liked it, Stefanie.
Isabella -- at first I was not sure what you meant, when you said that you did not think the guy had said anything "nutty" to his child -- but what I was meaning I guess is that telling children distinct things about hell and heaven, and detailing what kind of people go to each place -- I guess I thought that would be a "nutty" thing to be doing.
It's gotta be tough, as you say.
I don't have kids, so I am not any sort of aficionado on the subject.... I just know that if I was a parent, I would not raise my kids to believe [void of evidence] in any un-scientifically substantiated claims about the hereafter.
In other words, I would keep them from religion, unless they themselves felt this was a direction they wanted to explore.
As with children, so with adults -- I figure if God is up to even half of the claims "he" is granted, "he" does not need me to be proselytizing for "him".